Saturday, 30 May 2015

22/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Daddy Time

Little P + Sunshine: On a boat with Dad.



Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! I'm linking up with Practising simplicity here

Friday, 29 May 2015

TRAVEL: Mykonos, Greece




Mykonos, Greece...

So they say Mykonos is the island that never sleeps, party island and everything's on the table? Haha. For us though, we spent 5 blissful days waking up early, working out, eating well, laying by beach, snorkelling, exploring on the quad bike and in bed by 8pm. Yes, you may or may not be disappointed when I tell you that we didn't even touch the night life of Mykonos. As people were walking out for dinner looking glamorous, we were sending our exhausted bodies and sun kissed skin to bed. We were pooped and we loved every minute of the relaxation. They turned on the heat for us at Mykonos and we spent many hours tirelessly laying on the beach, only moving to put ourselves in the water for a splash.



We stayed that the Myconian imperial, a 5 star resort 200 metres walk above the beach of Elia. This time of year, there aren't as many people, meaning lots of room on the beach. The pool area was out of this world, think white and black, clean lines, beautiful sun lounges, umbrellas and a gorgeous restaurant. The mykonoian imperial is about 20 minutes drive to the town of Mykonos and we loved being out of town to rest and relax from the silly business. 
It was hard not to fall in love with the hotel, the service was brilliant and I would highly recommend staying there.

It kind of feels like all the days rolled into one and it was brilliant, a real holiday of revival. I think it's safe to say that Mykonos is my favourite island; the water is stunning clear and blue. We bought a couple of snorkels to play with and found rock pools to swim in. 





We did make it into the town a couple of days, just browsing the boutique shops and exploring the white little streets. The town has a really trendy feel, some high end brands, heaps of cafes and bars. Little Venice was very cute, a great little spot to grab a coffee or a drink on the water. 



Our favourite day was definitely our last though, we got on the quad bike and went on an adventure to check out the little beaches. We found this amazing little cove full of rock pools and not a person in site. In true Mykonos style, we got naked and tried for a full body tan, it was hilarious, we laughed until we almost cried, snorkelled the crystal clear waters and soaked in the freedom. 

Mykonos, we love you...Next stop, Barcelona!



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Unplug your child... Please

GUEST POST BY KRISTY GOODWIN


This post has been brewing for a couple of months now. It’s sat in my drafts folder and I’ve deliberated about posting it. But now I’m feeling brave enough to say, “Unplug your child…please.”


Why've I been so tentative?

To be completely honest, I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite.

I don’t ever want to sound like I’m ‘should-ing’ on you. I never want to do that!
I’ve previously talked about techno-shame. I don’t want this post to feel like I’m doing just that… techno-shaming.

I also don’t want you to think that I’ve got this parenting thing sorted out. I’m not perfect & know that some days I’m far from the ideal parent.

As parents we’re all doing the best we can. It’s a hard gig and made all the more complicated by this digital world we now found ourselves trying to navigate.

I live by Maya Angelou’s saying, “When you know better you do better.”

I want this post to just make you think. I want it to make you pause and reflect- how and why are you using technology with your children?

But I also feel compelled to share this post. It’s almost like a moral obligation. I’ve felt so uneasy observing some recent situations. And that tells me something.

Three recent incidents have confirmed my intuitive thoughts that this post needs to be shared. So here goes…

1. The Café:
We’ve just moved house and we now live above a cafe.  So for a keen social observer (aka – a sticky beak) that means I’ve had lots of opportunity to observe. And I’ve been shocked.

As a popular spot for parents, this cafe has lots of toddlers and young children visit. And sadly, I see lots of children handed over an iPhone or tablet device the minute they sit down.  Sometimes it’s even placed on the table before the child is placed in a seat (or even a high chair).

Now I understand that sometimes you need a sanity saver and your phone or tablet can pacify and upset child. I raise my hand I’ve done that at a doctor’s surgery and sitting in the car in horrendous Sydney traffic.

So please don’t think I’m techno-shaming the ‘pass back effect’. Been there done that. And probably will do it again. Soon.

But I’m concerned. Really concerned.

Why are some parents so quick to hand over their iDevice?

Some of these children have not even been given the opportunity to sit and chat at the table (or attempt to tip the sugar dispenser all over the table).

They are digitally pacified. 

Unplug your child…please.

2. The Supermarket
The next incident that really stirred up some concern was at the local supermarket.  On two separate occasions I’ve bumped into the same mum with her two children. And on both instances they were seated in a pram, each holding an iPad.  As Mum went about her groceries, the children stared at their respective screens. There was absolutely no interaction. None.

And I can’t help but think about these missed opportunities. As a Mum of two very young children I know how difficult it is to do groceries with children in tow. It’s damn hard.

Shopping with kids is tedious, but it can also be a great way to connect and interact. It can be a rich opportunity for incidental learning.  ”How many bananas should we get?”, “What shape is the box?”

There was absolutely no interaction with these children. They sat there like digital zombies for the entire shopping expedition.

So please don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t ever use your iDevice with your child at the shops. I will never ‘should on you’.

But please reconsider always pacifying your child with an iDevice.

Unplug your child…please.

3. The Change Room
The third incident that triggered this post was something that I didn’t personally witness. But when my friend told me the story I was flabbergasted. Jaw on the ground kinda flabbergasted.

My friend and her son were changing after their swimming lesson and another mother-son team were doing the same. Before the towel was unwrapped from the toddler, an iPad was placed in his hands. His mother then had to dress her toddler who was wielding the iPad in all sorts of contorted positions.

Really? The change room?

Unplug your child…please.

No-Go Tech Zones
Surely there are some places and spaces that should be tech-free zones? The change room being one of them (and I thought the public toilets was another but I recently discovered that even public toilets are no longer tech-free zones).

What sorts of social behaviours and habits are we establishing when we pacify children with digital devices all of the time?

I think we’re sending our children very powerful messages and forming possible life-long media habits when we always hand over devices to children.

We don’t always need to be entertained by a screen. Sitting in your own company is important and it’s a skill to develop.  You can’t develop this skill if you are fixated on a screen. All.the.time.

We don’t always need to be plugged in.

Children need to learn social protocol and etiquette. And you certainly can’t do that if your face is buried in an iPad.

Children do not need to be constantly plugged in.

It’s okay for their minds to sit idle for a while.

It’s okay for them to be bored.

It’s okay for them to entertain themselves (even if it is with the sugar dispenser at the cafe table).

It’s okay for them to get dressed without digital devices.

So why are we in a hurry to pacify, entertain and console today’s children with digital devices?

Sure, it’s easy and a quick fix. Your smartphone is usually in your pocket, or the tablet is tucked in your handbag. And when there’s the cockroach tantrum ensuing (or in full force) your device can do the trick (as can a key ring, or a packet of pencils and some paper, or even a book). Quick smart.

But I think that maybe there are other reasons we’re using screens to pacify, entertain and console our children.

Perhaps we’re scared that our children might get bored (heaven forbid!).  Perhaps as parents we’re under so much pressure to constantly entertain our children that we’re petrified that if we don’t we aren’t doing a good job (crazy logic, right?).

Boredom is essential. It’s a brilliant way to cultivate creativity and play (in fact we’ve even got some recent research evidence that shows us that children who are given more opportunities for unstructured activities have better goal setting abilities than their counterparts who engage in more structured activities).

So please, just think twice before you plug your child into an iDevice…especially when there are people to chat with (and sugar dispensers to empty, groceries to wrangle and clothes to negotiate).

I’d love to hear in the comments below,  do you think we’re becoming too quick to pacify children with iDevices? Does this trend worry you?

Dr Kristy Goodwin, from Every Chance to Learn, is a children’s technology and brain researcher and mum. She helps confused and concerned parents navigate young children’s digital world by translating the latest brain and technology research into digestible information and practical tips.

Twitter: @chancetolearn  


Monday, 25 May 2015

SLOW COOKER RECIPE: Pulled Lamb Lettuce boats


Pulled Lamb Lettuce boats

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
1 lamb shoulder
4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch salt
2 brown onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 dates
1.5 cups bone broth/stock
2 large carrots, diced

Yogurt sauce
1 cup natural Greek yogurt
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch salt and pepper

To serve:
1 iceberg lettuce, washed and separated
1 Avocado, mashed
2 Tomato, diced

Method
In a food processor, combine the honey, coconut oil, salt, onion, and 4 cloves of garlic to make a marinade. Process until everything is finely chopped.
Massage marinade into the lamb shoulder and leave covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sauté Setting
Add 1 tablespoon of oil and then place the lamb shoulder into the bowl. Sauté; turning meat when needed.

Slow Cook Setting
Add in the marinade, dates, bone broth and carrots.
Enter 8HR TIME.
Press start button.
After the 8 hours, Lamb shoulder should be super tender and falling off the bone.
Pull the lamb off the bone, into a dish, draining liquid into a small jug.

To make yogurt sauce:
Into a small bowl, combine yogurt, 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), the parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.

To serve:
Fill large lettuce leaves up with pulled lamb, tomato, avocado and yogurt sauce. These are great for the whole family and kids love making their own lettuce ‘boats’.

ENJOY!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

WHY SUPPLEMENT - JAIME ROSE CHAMBERS APD (B.NUTR&DIET)

GUEST POST BY JAIME ROSE CHAMBERS APD (B.NUTR&DIET)







As a Dietitian, there is no question for me that meeting our nutritional requirements must come from a great diet. It’s my first line treatment goal with my patients. However as a Dietitian, I also see evidence every day that using diet as the only way to meet our nutrient requirements can be a challenge. By using supplements, we can prevent or treat some nutrient deficiencies and potentially some other conditions as well.

As a Dietitian, there is no question for me that meeting our nutritional requirements must come from a great diet. It’s my first line treatment goal with my patients. However as a Dietitian, I also see evidence every day that using diet as the only way to meet our nutrient requirements can be a challenge. By using supplements, we can prevent or treat some nutrient deficiencies and potentially some other conditions as well.

The components of our food work together in a synergistic way, a complex relationship that can boost a nutrient’s ability to be digested and absorbed. All the science points to a whole diet for their health benefits, such as the Mediterranean diet. These populations tend to live the longest and have the lowest incidence of the big chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Their diet’s are so significant due to their overall nutrient profile and the synergy of those nutrients, not the isolated vitamins and minerals within them.

The reality is however that diet alone simply may not be enough, and for many reasons, nutritional holes must be filled and supplements may be the only way to do it. Supplements can be used for targeted prevention and treatment or as a generalised preventative measure, like a nutritional insurance policy.

Supplements may be necessary when:

  • There’s too much junk food in the diet taking the place of precious nutrients from healthy foods
  • We are busy, stressed and skipping meals
  • Soil and fresh produce are deficient in nutrients
  • Chronic fad dieting
  • Inefficient digestion – your body is unable to absorb nutrients effectively
  • Ethical & religious beliefs eg. vegans, vegetarians, ovo-lacto vegetarians, pescetarians
  • Food dislikes
  • Food allergies & intolerances eg. Coealic disease, dairy allergy
  • Other medical conditions and some medication.
For general nutritional support, NuZest’s Good Green Stuff is a super supplement that contains a full spectrum of non-synthetic, bioavailable nutrients. It also contains a range of herbs to support the nervous, immune and digestive system and the assist with liver detoxification pathways and brain cognition and memory. It also contains antioxidants from greens, fruits and vegetables for the 94.5% of the population who don’t meet their daily fruit and vegetable requirements.

For more specific treatment, a blood test can identify any nutrient deficiencies and a highly qualified health practitioner can assist you in finding an excellent quality supplement to meet your needs.



About JAIME
Jaime Rose Chambers is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. Jaime completed a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of Newcastle in 2008 and is currently completing a Masters of Clinical Medicine for complementary therapies. Jaime has had a lifelong passion for food, cooking and recipe creation so when tossing up whether to become a chef or a Doctor, Jaime decided to combine the two and now as a Dietitian, treats her patient’s medical conditions with evidence-based, nutrition and lifestyle strategies.
You can find Jaime at http://www.jaimerosenutrition.com.au

Sunday, 17 May 2015

TRAVEL : Santorini, Greece


What an incredible place... 
As most of you know, I set out exactly one week ago on the ultimate girls trip, a full 3 weeks kid free, with one of my bestie's, exploring Europe. First stop, Santorini...here's what gone on so far.

We arrived into Santorini on Monday night, weather a bit windy but holding hope for sunshine for the days to come. 
After a full nights sleep, we got into a little skipping, exploring and then hit the town on a quad bike. How weird it is to see cars on the other side of the road and every corner thinking their coming right at you. Needless to say, I didn't drive. Haha. I left that to Torah, the woman of many talents and no fear at all. I held onto the Sony action cam, as I held onto the bike, taking fun photos along the way and taking in the surroundings of this beautiful island. The hills, the cliffs, the houses, the water and the islands surrounding. What an incredible feeling to be on top of the world! We explored and laughed a lot all day. 



Along the way, we found Faros market, a small family owned organic farm and store on Santorini. The gorgeous lady that runs the store showed us around her garden and we tasted her homemade wine, marinated goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pickles, preserves, capers, olive oil, raw honey and amazing homemade skin creams and oils. Such an awesome find and a beautiful shop to hang out and chat about real food. Loved every minute of it. If your ever in Santorini, you need to check this little gem out, say high and buy lots of little goodies. 
She even has little bags of tomato seeds from her garden behind her desk, the real deal, they say you can't beat a real Greek tomato, and she might give you some to take home.





Tuesday we woke early and did a workout, followed by brekky and then a hike up to ancient Thira. What I imagined to be a beautiful stroll was a serious leg shaking hike. Rocks crumbling down as we stepped but Incredible views as part of the package. 
When we got back to our hotel, we had a little lay by the pool and then in true can't-sit-still style, Torah had the great idea of cliff jumping from the end of the beach. I was freaking out a little, scared of what could be in the ocean, scared of the drop and just all round scared of the unknown. I used to jump off the wharf in Merimbula as a kid but thats well over 10 years ago and 2 children later, I don't take many chances. I sat back for a moment, let Torah take 2 jumps before me and then did it. It felt incredible, the adrenalin of just being fun; just crazy, silly, clean, young fun. The type of fun that I miss having to act all grown up, it was such a great feeling to feel like a careless young kid again so I ran back up and had to do it again.




Wednesday we went sailing, sailing on a yacht around the local islands. We sat out on the front in the sun, they served us a delicious Greek lunch full of seafood and yummy salads. How amazing is Greek salad with Greek tomatoes? 
We jumped off the boat in the volcanic hot springs (that weren't warm yet) and swam in the blue waters. The cruise back was incredible, the rock formations of the islands are just so perfect and you literally can't take your eyes off the land as you look over their water. The sun was cranking and it was so nice to have it beaming on my skin. 



Friday we moved up to Oia. This is the place up on the cliff that you see in all the pictures of Santorini. Think white buildings, blue domes, little lane ways and out of this world views. This is where everyone come up to see the sunset.
We explored the village all day, gorgeous little streets, amazing shopping and an all round awesome vibe.




The following morning, after our workout, we took a walk down to Amoudi Bay. Its right at the base of Oia, you won't find any sand at this beach but at the bottom of the 280 stairs you will find a stunning nook where it is protected from the wind and crystal clear water to swim in. Water was a bit cold but we jumped in and swam across to the little island, climbed up the rocks and took another jump from the ledge into the deep water. I was nervous as anything but once again, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the deep blue.





This past week there has been a lot of that, stepping out of my comfort zone and finding me again, the fun me that had been lost a little as I entered my journey of motherhood. As we were grabbing our towels down at Amoudi, I had a little tear, a tear of joy and happiness of how grateful I am to my wonderful husband Andrew and my buddy Torah for making this adventure possible and to take a moment to think how fun life can be when you allow it to be. I'm feeling inspired and when I get home I will be bringing way more fun into our little families lives!!!

See you later Santorini, what fun we have had. Next stop, Mykonos...


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